Armenia puts into circulation silver collector coin dedicated to Olympic Champion Hrant Shahinyan

On July 20, 2023, the Central Bank of Armenia has put into circulation a silver collector coin dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Hrant Shahinyan’s birth.

Hrant Shahinyan (1923-1996) is a prominent Armenian gymnast, the first Armenian champion of the modern-day Olympic Games, a double gold and double silver medalist (Helsinki, 1952), a double gold prize-winner of the World Championship (Rome, 1954), a seven-time and an absolute champion of the USSR, an Honored Master of Sports of the USSR (1951), an Honored Coach of the Armenian SSR (1961), an Honored Activist of Physical Culture and Sports of the Armenian SSR (1966).

Shahinyan was born in the village of Gyulagarak (Lori region, Republic of Armenia). In 1930, the family moved to Yerevan, where he started attending a gymnastics class. In 1939, he won the title of the USSR absolute champion among juniors.

In the early days of the Great Patriotic War, he voluntarily left for the frontline; with his leg injured he was able to resume gymnastics only in 1946.

Shahinyan achieved his first serious success at the World Festival of Youth and Students in Budapest in 1949, winning six gold medals at once.

According to the decision of the International Gymnastics Federation, one of the first exercises performed by Shahinyan on the pommel horse is called “Shahinyan’s twist.”

After finishing his sports career, Shahinyan switched to coaching. In 1958-1996, he served as Director of the Specialized Sports School for Young Gymnasts under the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Armenia, and in 1967-1969, as Chairman of the Sports Committee of the Armenian SSR.

The legendary sportsman earned many awards for his services to the motherland and exceptional sports achievements, including a prize “For Fair Play” awarded by the International Olympic Committee in 1994. In 2005, the National Olympic Committee of Armenia introduced a “Hrant Shahinyan” medal.

The streets in the cities of the Republic of Armenia, the Yerevan Olympic Children and Youth School of Gymnastics, the Chair of Gymnastics of the Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture and Sport are named after Hrant Shahinyan.

Obverse: the stylized images of Hrant Shahinyan performing exercises on gymnastic rings and a pommel horse.
Reverse: Hrant Shahinyan’s bust (sculptor: G. Shahverdyan, architect: S. Sardaryan, 2014).

Designes: Eduard Kurghinyan (obverse), Lusine Lalayan (reverse).
The coin is minted at the Mint of Poland.

Technical specification

Face value – 1000 dram
Metal/fineness – silver 9250
Weight – 33,6 g
Diameter – 40,0 mm
Quality – proof
Edge – ribbed
Quantity of issue – 200 pcs
Year of issue – 2023

Collector coins are made of precious metals and are issued to present to the society the national, international, historical and cultural, spiritual and other values of the country, to immortalize these values in the metal and to meet the demands of the numismatic market.
Like any other currency the collector coins have face value which makes them the means of payment. However, the face value of these coins is much lower that their cost price which includes the cost of the precious metal used for manufacturing of the coin, mintage and other expenses. Low face value and high cost price allow these coins to be considered as the items of collection and not the means of payment used in money circulation. The collector coins have also the sale price set by the Central Bank of Armenia.
As the items of collection the collector coins are issued in very restricted quantities and are not reissued.
Numismatists, collectors and all interested persons can buy the Armenian collector coins in the sales salon “Numismatist” which is in the building of the Central Bank of Armenia and is open for everyone.

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